Bail means a pretrial release of a person from custody.
Bond means the posting of a written promise to pay a specific sum (can be secured or unsecured) as a condition of bail to assure the performance of the specific conditions (like appearing in court).
If you are charged with a serious offense and/or have a history of not appearing in court, you will not be released after the arrest. Your attorney will need to file a motion and argue for your release, pending trial, in front of a judge.
Virginia law states that a person held in custody awaiting trial shall be admitted to bail unless there is probable cause to believe that:
- He will not appear for trial or hearing or
- His release will constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or to the public.
The factors that go into consideration of the first prong are your ties to the community, including your family and employment, the history of the failures to appear and/or probation violations, and others.
For the second prong – your criminal history, the nature and the circumstances of the offense charged, and others.
With more serious offenses, the presumption is against bail and the burden to overcome this presumption is on the defendant. The list of the offenses with the presumption against bail can be found in Va. Code 19.2-297.1 and include violent felonies, maximum sentence crimes, some crimes involving the manufacturing and distribution of controlled substances, certain firearms offenses, and others.
The skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to gather all of the important information for your bail determination and present a compelling argument to a judge as to why you should be released.
To view one of our skilled attorneys in Criminal Law, click here.